Author Topic: The Desire of Ages--22--Imprisonment and Death of John  (Read 13305 times)

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Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--22--Imprisonment and Death of John
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2017, 10:50:29 AM »
Amen, Jim and Richard! What a marvelous revelation of the loveliness of Jesus we see wrought out in John the Baptist's life! What an encouragement that we get to be partakers of "the highest honor" when we suffer joyfully, bearing all the fruits of the Spirit without one missing, knowing that it is for our good and the eternal glory of God in sealing the universe from the risk of sin ever arising again! May we surrender our lives for life or for death as shall best serve God's cause, knowing that we as abiding believers are on the verge of the Time of Trouble such as never was--not as a curse, but as a final "touch up" before we enter heaven!!!

   God never leads His children otherwise than they would choose to be led, if they could see the end from the beginning, and discern the glory of the purpose which they are fulfilling as co-workers with Him. Not Enoch, who was translated to heaven, not Elijah, who ascended in a chariot of fire, was greater or more honored than John the Baptist, who perished alone in the dungeon. "Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake." Philippians 1:29. And of all the gifts that Heaven can bestow upon men, fellowship with Christ in His sufferings is the most weighty trust and the highest honor.
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--22--Imprisonment and Death of John
« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2017, 06:13:17 PM »
Amen!!  All things work together for good to those who love God supremely. "All things, even the death of John and Stephen.

Herod believed John to be a prophet of God,


Amazing! Herold believed, but killed him anyway!!   Likewise, some who "believe" will crucify Christ afresh.  But, not if we love Jesus with all the heart!!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--22--Imprisonment and Death of John
« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2017, 05:27:20 AM »
Like the Saviour's disciples, John the Baptist did not understand the nature of Christ's kingdom. He expected Jesus to take the throne of David; and as time passed, and the Saviour made no claim to kingly authority, John became perplexed and troubled. He had declared to the people that in order for the way to be prepared before the Lord, the prophecy of Isaiah must be fulfilled; the mountains and hills must be brought low, the crooked made straight, and the rough places plain. He had looked for the high places of human pride and power to be cast down. He had pointed to the Messiah as the One whose fan was in His hand, and who would thoroughly purge His floor, who would gather the wheat into His garner, and burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Like the prophet Elijah, in whose spirit and power he had come to Israel, he looked for the Lord to reveal Himself as a God that answereth by fire.

I remember how surprised I was the first time read this. I thought to myself of all the people who should understand Christ's kingdom it should be John, Christ's forerunner. John didn't attend the religious schools of the day so where did this influence come from? It could only be from society at large. Everyone believed a certain way so it was probably never questioned. When I think about this and apply it personally I can't help but wonder how the current culture in the church as influenced me in a wrong direction. May the Lord give us eye salve and correct our vision.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--22--Imprisonment and Death of John
« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2017, 05:36:32 AM »
Amen, Jim! We are in a state of needing Jesus CONTINUALLY that we would not be led astray by culture or even our own understanding. If we are daily beholding Jesus, though, and letting His character be impressed upon our hearts and minds continually, then we can be encouraged to know that He is helping us appreciate and grasp His mission and character. John did not surrender His faith, even though He did not understand. But God will have a people alive on earth before He comes who do understand, who understand Christ experientially in a way that His people can fittingly be called the Lamb's wife, "for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready" (Revelation 19:7). We will enter into an experience of oneness with Christ by faith that allows us to understand His heart of love that gave all to save the lost. We may have perfection of character through a full-heart surrender, a surrender that is to be continued until the character of Christ is perfectly reproduced in us. There are so many precious lessons to learn from our reading today, and I am glad that we are given the marvelous revelation of Jesus in the Bible and in The Desire of Ages, that we can learn of Him.

I am so thankful that Jesus leads our lives when we are fully surrendered to Him. We no longer have to worry about the future, because it is not in our hands what will happen--we are consecrated to God so He can use us in whatever way is best. If we suffer for being a Christian, let us remember the blessing that this is as we come into fellowship with Christ in His sufferings, as did John the Baptist. As we remember He has promised to be with us, we will find hope and courage. May His presence continually abide with you today in doing His perfect, holy will. Let Him lead, and you will be so thankful that His way is best.

"Though no miraculous deliverance was granted John, he was not forsaken. He had always the companionship of heavenly angels, who opened to him the prophecies concerning Christ, and the precious promises of Scripture. These were his stay, as they were to be the stay of God's people through the coming ages. To John the Baptist, as to those that came after him, was given the assurance, 'Lo, I am with you all the days, even unto the end.' Matthew 28:20, R. V., margin."  {The Desire of Ages, page 224, paragraph 4}
     "God never leads His children otherwise than they would choose to be led, if they could see the end from the beginning, and discern the glory of the purpose which they are fulfilling as co-workers with Him. Not Enoch, who was translated to heaven, not Elijah, who ascended in a chariot of fire, was greater or more honored than John the Baptist, who perished alone in the dungeon. 'Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake.' Philippians 1:29. And of all the gifts that Heaven can bestow upon men, fellowship with Christ in His sufferings is the most weighty trust and the highest honor." {The Desire of Ages, page 224, paragraph 5}


When we really believe that it is a great gift to enter into fellowship with Christ in His sufferings, we shall covet toil and sacrifice for HIs sake, that others may come to know of the loveliness of Jesus. We shall not shrink back from the coming trials to come upon our world (or even our day-to-day trials), but will praise God that He is letting us go through an experience that is preparing us to live for eternity with Him in heaven--a place where only unselfishness reigns. Today, thought a full-heart surrender to Christ, we also may have His self-sacrificing love in us--what a miracle!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--22--Imprisonment and Death of John
« Reply #24 on: October 14, 2017, 08:53:53 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean! "'Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake.' Philippians 1:29. And of all the gifts that Heaven can bestow upon men, fellowship with Christ in His sufferings is the most weighty trust and the highest honor."

Things in the world are often the opposite of God's ways. Satan has done a masterful job of perverting the truth. Who wants to suffer? No one wants to suffer. Who likes pain! But, when we suffer on account of our faith, we understand it is for our good and God's glory if we will abide in Christ. Why did John have to die such a violent death at such an early age? We may not understand such things, but we can know that God is in absolute control, so there must be a good reason. There is at least one very good reason. Because God loves us. Some of us will die and not be translated. Some of us will end up in dungeons. Because of God's love for John the Baptist, and because he was a great man of God, it will encourage all who follow in his path that God knows their trial and John went  before them. He was an example of those who will die such a death.

     Jesus did not interpose to deliver His servant. He knew that John would bear the test. Gladly would the Saviour have come to John, to brighten the dungeon gloom with His own presence. But He was not to place Himself in the hands of enemies and imperil His own mission. Gladly would He have delivered His faithful servant. But for the sake of thousands who in after years must pass from prison to death, John was to drink the cup of martyrdom. As the followers of Jesus should languish in lonely cells, or perish by the sword, the rack, or the fagot, apparently forsaken by God and man, what a stay to their hearts would be the thought that John the Baptist, to whose faithfulness Christ Himself had borne witness, had passed through a similar experience!
     Satan was permitted to cut short the earthly life of God's messenger; but that life which "is hid with Christ in God," the destroyer could not reach. Colossians 3:3. He exulted that he had brought sorrow upon Christ, but he had failed of conquering John. Death itself only placed him forever beyond the power of temptation. In this warfare, Satan was revealing his own character. Before the witnessing universe he made manifest his enmity toward God and man.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--22--Imprisonment and Death of John
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2018, 06:06:02 AM »
There is an important lesson for us today in our reading. The light continues to shine brighter today than yesterday. Prophets do not understand everything. Even if they have been given great light, they may not understand that light. It may be for another day. Do we not see this in some of the prophecies presented to Daniel the Prophet?

Jesus tells us that none were greater than John the Baptist. But, that does not mean John understood all he was sharing. Remember when he introduced Jesus to Israel "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world"? The Lamb that had to die. Like the disciples John did not know all of those lambs being sacrificed, truly represented the death of their Messiah. How amazing is this!

     Like the Saviour's disciples, John the Baptist did not understand the nature of Christ's kingdom. He expected Jesus to take the throne of David; and as time passed, and the Saviour made no claim to kingly authority, John became perplexed and troubled. He had declared to the people that in order for the way to be prepared before the Lord, the prophecy of Isaiah must be fulfilled; the mountains and hills must be brought low, the crooked made straight, and the rough places plain. He had looked for the high places of human pride and power to be cast down. He had pointed to the Messiah as the One whose fan was in His hand, and who would thoroughly purge His floor, who would gather the wheat into His garner, and burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Like the prophet Elijah, in whose spirit and power he had come to Israel, he looked for the Lord to reveal Himself as a God that answereth by fire.
     In his mission the Baptist had stood as a fearless reprover of iniquity, both in high places and in low. He had dared to face King Herod with the plain rebuke of sin. He had not counted his life dear unto himself, that he might fulfill his appointed work. And now from his dungeon he watched for the Lion of the tribe of Judah to cast down the pride of the oppressor, and to deliver the poor and him that cried. But Jesus seemed to content Himself with gathering disciples about Him, and healing and teaching the people. He was eating at the tables of the publicans, while every day the Roman yoke rested more heavily upon Israel, while King Herod and his vile paramour worked their will, and the cries of the poor and suffering went up to heaven.
     To the desert prophet all this seemed a mystery beyond his fathoming. There were hours when the whisperings of demons tortured his spirit, and the shadow of a terrible fear crept over him. Could it be that the long-hoped-for Deliverer had not yet appeared? Then what meant the message that he himself had been impelled to bear? John had been bitterly disappointed in the result of his mission. He had expected that the message from God would have the same effect as when the law was read in the days of Josiah and of Ezra (2 Chronicles 34; Nehemiah 8, 9); that there would follow a deep-seated work of repentance and returning unto the Lord. For the success of this mission his whole life had been sacrificed. Had it been in vain?
     John was troubled to see that through love for him, his own disciples were cherishing unbelief in regard to Jesus. Had his work for them been fruitless? Had he been unfaithful in his mission, that he was now cut off from labor? If the promised Deliverer had appeared, and John had been found true to his calling, would not Jesus now overthrow the oppressor's power, and set free His herald? 


What is the lesson for us today?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--22--Imprisonment and Death of John
« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2018, 06:26:54 AM »
Today many do not realize that we, like Jesus, the Lamb of God, must die (not necessarily physically, but in a spiritual sense--see Galatians 2:20). Self must die, and only those who consent to have all brought into conformity to God's will in their life because they behold the loveliness of Jesus and are motivated to make that full surrender will be able to enter into the kingdom of God when Jesus returns in power and glory so soon. Many are looking forward to Jesus to come who are as unprepared for His return as were the Jews when Jesus walked the earth. If self is alive, then we have not His Spirit abiding in the heart by faith, and we are none of His (Romans 8:9). We need Jesus abiding in our hearts continually so that all of the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives, not one will be missing, and we will gladly follow all the light of God's law that is revealed to us because we love Him, for God is love. God desires to develop in us true moral worth.

"Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist." In the announcement to Zacharias before the birth of John, the angel had declared, "He shall be great in the sight of the Lord." Luke 1:15. In the estimation of Heaven, what is it that constitutes greatness? Not that which the world accounts greatness; not wealth, or rank, or noble descent, or intellectual gifts, in themselves considered. If intellectual greatness, apart from any higher consideration, is worthy of honor, then our homage is due to Satan, whose intellectual power no man has ever equaled. But when perverted to self-serving, the greater the gift, the greater curse it becomes. It is moral worth that God values. Love and purity are the attributes He prizes most. John was great in the sight of the Lord, when, before the messengers from the Sanhedrin, before the people, and before his own disciples, he refrained from seeking honor for himself, but pointed all to Jesus as the Promised One. His unselfish joy in the ministry of Christ presents the highest type of nobility ever revealed in man. {The Desire of Ages, page 219, paragraph 3}

May the moral worth of Jesus be seen in our lives as we look to Him and allow His character to be wrought out in our lives.
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--22--Imprisonment and Death of John
« Reply #27 on: April 06, 2018, 05:48:44 AM »
To the desert prophet all this seemed a mystery beyond his fathoming. There were hours when the whisperings of demons tortured his spirit, and the shadow of a terrible fear crept over him. Could it be that the long-hoped-for Deliverer had not yet appeared? Then what meant the message that he himself had been impelled to bear? John had been bitterly disappointed in the result of his mission. He had expected that the message from God would have the same effect as when the law was read in the days of Josiah and of Ezra (2 Chronicles 34; Nehemiah 8, 9); that there would follow a deep-seated work of repentance and returning unto the Lord. For the success of this mission his whole life had been sacrificed. Had it been in vain?
     John was troubled to see that through love for him, his own disciples were cherishing unbelief in regard to Jesus. Had his work for them been fruitless? Had he been unfaithful in his mission, that he was now cut off from labor? If the promised Deliverer had appeared, and John had been found true to his calling, would not Jesus now overthrow the oppressor's power, and set free His herald? 


To me it's interesting to see how that John was faithful. Not only to his calling but also to Christ. He was faithfully doing his part. Yet he was troubled. Why? Because he didn't fully understand the nature of Christ's mission and demons took advantage of this to try and fill his soul with doubts. He also was troubled by the seemingly lack of fruit in the fruit of his mission. Things would have been much easier for him had he truly understood Christ's mission. To me this is an important lesson that some of our troubles and temptation might be from our own misconception/s and beliefs. Especially misconceptions about the nature of God's character. How important it is in our personal Bible study to always have the attitude of the student rather than the teacher.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--22--Imprisonment and Death of John
« Reply #28 on: April 06, 2018, 06:02:13 AM »
Amen, Jim! The more clearly we discern the nature of the character of God and the mission of Christ, which by extension guides us to understand our mission, the more fully we will realize Christ's promise that His yoke is easy and His burden is light, because His loveliness of character sustains us amid comprehending His purposes step by step heavenward.

"To many minds a deep mystery surrounds the fate of John the Baptist. They question why he should have been left to languish and die in prison. The mystery of this dark providence our human vision cannot penetrate; but it can never shake our confidence in God when we remember that John was but a sharer in the sufferings of Christ. All who follow Christ will wear the crown of sacrifice. They will surely be misunderstood by selfish men, and will be made a mark for the fierce assaults of Satan. It is this principle of self-sacrifice that his kingdom is established to destroy, and he will war against it wherever manifested." {The Desire of Ages, page 223, paragraph 4}

When there are chapters in our life experience that we do not fully understand, we are not to let them shake our faith, but deepen our walk with Christ. We can come to Christ with all the perplexities and difficulties through which we are passing, give Him everything that is on our hearts, and see from Scripture times when others, like John the Baptist, keenly suffered as they were faithful to God. Suffering is not the thing most to be feared in the kingdom of God--rather, it is unfaithfulness. Let us behold Jesus and trust His providential leading in our lives through all seasons of experience, and we shall come forth with a richer faith a deeper experience in knowing God and Jesus Christ whom He sent to save us to the uttermost. Praise God! 
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--22--Imprisonment and Death of John
« Reply #29 on: April 06, 2018, 06:58:01 AM »
"Though no miraculous deliverance was granted John, he was not forsaken. He had always the companionship of heavenly angels, who opened to him the prophecies concerning Christ, and the precious promises of Scripture. These were his stay, as they were to be the stay of God's people through the coming ages. To John the Baptist, as to those that came after him, was given the assurance, "Lo, I am with you all the days, even unto the end." Matthew 28:20, R. V., margin."

In the days ahead we will need to cling to the story of John and the promise that Christ will never leave or forsake us no matter how the circumstances look.  We may not now relate to the persecution to come to God's people but come it will. How important it is for us to be fortifying our minds with God's word so that we too will be comforted and anchored in Christ. Not just for the tomorrow's but for today as we meet the temptations and challenges this day will bring.

     "God never leads His children otherwise than they would choose to be led, if they could see the end from the beginning, and discern the glory of the purpose which they are fulfilling as co-workers with Him. .........."Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake." Philippians 1:29. And of all the gifts that Heaven can bestow upon men, fellowship with Christ in His sufferings is the most weighty trust and the highest honor."

When days are difficult and I am tempted to be discouraged this paragraph lifts my spirits and brings a happy peace to my heart.
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--22--Imprisonment and Death of John
« Reply #30 on: April 06, 2018, 07:34:24 AM »
Amen, dear Sister!  It is a blessing to be disciples of Jesus. We glory in our difficulties having been told they work for our good and His glory if we will believe. Not the "believe" of so many who think  they are eternally saved even when sinning, but believing when by faith we know in whom we believe and trust Him with all the heart. To whom much is given, much is expected. We have been entrusted with these most precious truths. Shall we allow "unbelief" to cloud our vision, or shall we march onward no matter what we see with our human eyes? Today is the day of salvation, today what we do will decide tomorrow.

As Jim has shared, we need to be good students that Satan's deceptions might not take hold in our minds. But, if we do not rightly understand something, John is our example in that  we move forward by faith in our Savior, knowing He is leading us. Jesus allowed John to suffer and die, knowing he would not be tempted beyond what he could bear. His example will encourage many in our day as persecution again rears its nasty head.

      Jesus did not interpose to deliver His servant. He knew that John would bear the test. Gladly would the Saviour have come to John, to brighten the dungeon gloom with His own presence. But He was not to place Himself in the hands of enemies and imperil His own mission. Gladly would He have delivered His faithful servant. But for the sake of thousands who in after years must pass from prison to death, John was to drink the cup of martyrdom. As the followers of Jesus should languish in lonely cells, or perish by the sword, the rack, or the fagot, apparently forsaken by God and man, what a stay to their hearts would be the thought that John the Baptist, to whose faithfulness Christ Himself had borne witness, had passed through a similar experience! 
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--22--Imprisonment and Death of John
« Reply #31 on: July 02, 2018, 05:12:59 AM »
There are times when we may desire a miraculous deliverance, or pray for a certain outcome. But when God leads and allows our lives to go in a certain direction, as in the case of John the Baptist who perished alone in the dungeon, let us not look at our circumstances as evidence of whether God is with us. God is with us because He has promised through His word, and He only guides us in the way that is best. The greatest miracle in our trying circumstances is how God can manifest through the converted Christian all of the fruits of the Sprit without one missing, and the witness before the world and the onlooking universe is one that reveals the power of grace to keep us from murmuring or complaining, to keep us from falling into sin, no matter how strong the temptation. God is so faithful.

"Though no miraculous deliverance was granted John, he was not forsaken. He had always the companionship of heavenly angels, who opened to him the prophecies concerning Christ, and the precious promises of Scripture. These were his stay, as they were to be the stay of God's people through the coming ages. To John the Baptist, as to those that came after him, was given the assurance, 'Lo, I am with you all the days, even unto the end.' Matthew 28:20, R. V., margin." {The Desire of Ages, page 224, paragraph 4}
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--22--Imprisonment and Death of John
« Reply #32 on: September 27, 2018, 06:40:18 AM »
Even John had not fully comprehended the future, immortal life through the Saviour. 

I had not noticed this statement before. This tells me he wasn't in this for hope of reward or fear of punishment. These may be starting places for people but if either become our focus we have our eyes focused on the wrong thing. Christ is the one altogether lovely!
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--22--Imprisonment and Death of John
« Reply #33 on: September 27, 2018, 07:44:20 AM »
Amen, Jim.  John was fully surrendered to God and was living for Him. He was mistaught much, and it caused difficulties for Him. He did not know Jesus would die for the sins of the world. He thought He was going to sit on an earthly throne. But, his heart was pure and holy because He love the Lord His God with the whole heart. Like Job, what ever God did was right. May we be so thoroughly committed that we too have such a strong faith.

John suffered greatly when in the dungeon. But, his faith lifted him above the ordeal. As with other chapters we read daily, there are certain truths that are vital to our happiness. We find one such truth at the close of today's reading.

     God never leads His children otherwise than they would choose to be led, if they could see the end from the beginning, and discern the glory of the purpose which they are fulfilling as co-workers with Him. Not Enoch, who was translated to heaven, not Elijah, who ascended in a chariot of fire, was greater or more honored than John the Baptist, who perished alone in the dungeon. "Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake." Philippians 1:29. And of all the gifts that Heaven can bestow upon men, fellowship with Christ in His sufferings is the most weighty trust and the highest honor.


This is an unwelcome mystery to many. But, it ought not be to us who have been entrusted with such great light. We are to glory in our trials for when we are in Christ Jesus they work for our good and for the glory of God. Romans chapter five tells us that our tribulation gives us more patience and an experience that prepares us for what is coming upon us and the world. It also tells us that during these trials we are witnesses for Jesus in that our love is revealed to all who see us suffering for our faith and our Savior.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--22--Imprisonment and Death of John
« Reply #34 on: September 28, 2018, 04:48:22 AM »
The principle of self-sacrificing love, or selfless service, is the very nature of God and His kingdom. As we reflect on the way that John the Baptist suffered and died alone in prison, and the way Jesus would drink our cup of suffering and woe to the point of death on the cross as our sin bearer, let us appreciate how by beholding this principle in Christ and in those actuated by His Spirit we, too, may become filled with the Spirit of God to do His will amid trial, loss, and suffering. The trust God gives us in allowing us to suffer for His dear sake should cause us to ever draw nearer to our crucified, risen, and soon coming Lord Jesus! All of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing are in the converted soul living by faith on Christ, but they are made richer and more abundant amid the experience of suffering, even as gold is refined. "But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold" (Job 23:10). And we also may learn to say with Job, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him: but I will maintain mine own ways before Him" (Job 13:15).

"The principle of the Baptist's own life of self-abnegation was the principle of the Messiah's kingdom. John well knew how foreign all this was to the principles and hopes of the leaders in Israel. That which was to him convincing evidence of Christ's divinity would be no evidence to them. They were looking for a Messiah who had not been promised. John saw that the Saviour's mission could win from them only hatred and condemnation. He, the forerunner, was but drinking of the cup which Christ Himself must drain to its dregs." {The Desire of Ages, page 218, paragraph 1}
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--22--Imprisonment and Death of John
« Reply #35 on: December 23, 2018, 06:31:43 AM »
What if God does not change your circumstances? What if the trials you are going through do not get resolved the way you had hoped or anticipated? As we think of John the Baptist who faithfully heralded the first coming of Jesus, we can be encouraged to know that in the times of trial and suffering in life, such as when John was alone in the prison before he was beheaded, we may let our minds dwell with joy upon the unseen companions all around us--the heavenly angels and the fact that the onlooking universe is seeing the way Jesus is revealing His character through us--all the fruits of the Spirit without one missing--as long as we are abiding in Him with a full heart surrender. What joy to suffer and be strong when we know that all things work together for good, and that Someone who loves us--our Heavenly Father--is leading our life!!

"Though no miraculous deliverance was granted John, he was not forsaken. He had always the companionship of heavenly angels, who opened to him the prophecies concerning Christ, and the precious promises of Scripture. These were his stay, as they were to be the stay of God's people through the coming ages. To John the Baptist, as to those that came after him, was given the assurance, 'Lo, I am with you all the days, even unto the end.' Matthew 28:20, R. V., margin."  {The Desire of Age, page 224, paragraph 4}

And if God is with and for us, who can be against us! Let us live today in victory--victory in Jesus!!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--22--Imprisonment and Death of John
« Reply #36 on: December 23, 2018, 10:10:51 AM »
Amen Pastor Sean. I ask myself these questions and I am comforted by today's reading.

"Jesus did not interpose to deliver His servant. He knew that John would bear the test. Gladly would the Saviour have come to John, to brighten the dungeon gloom with His own presence. But He was not to place Himself in the hands of enemies and imperil His own mission. Gladly would He have delivered His faithful servant. But for the sake of thousands who in after years must pass from prison to death, John was to drink the cup of martyrdom. As the followers of Jesus should languish in lonely cells, or perish by the sword, the rack, or the fagot, apparently forsaken by God and man, what a stay to their hearts would be the thought that John the Baptist, to whose faithfulness Christ Himself had borne witness, had passed through a similar experience!" 


This certainly brings courage and peace to my heart. I may not at this point be facing the things described here but God in His mercy is allowing smaller trials to come so that I will learn to trust Him completely. Then when the larger trials come I will know from experience like John, to turn to the One who will never leave me nor forsake me. No matter what the circumstances are my faith will cling to Jesus.
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Beacon

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Re: The Desire of Ages--22--Imprisonment and Death of John
« Reply #37 on: December 23, 2018, 11:40:09 AM »
 "In the estimation of Heaven, what is it that constitutes greatness? Not that which the world accounts greatness; not wealth, or rank, or noble descent, or intellectual gifts, in themselves considered. If intellectual greatness, apart from any higher consideration, is worthy of honor, then our homage is due to Satan, whose intellectual power no man has ever equaled. But when perverted to self-serving, the greater the gift, the greater curse it becomes. It is moral worth that God values. Love and purity are the attributes He prizes most. John was great in the sight of the Lord, when, before the messengers from the Sanhedrin, before the people, and before his own disciples, he refrained from seeking honor for himself, but pointed all to Jesus as the Promised One. His unselfish joy in the ministry of Christ presents the highest type of nobility ever revealed in man."

Can you imagine how transforming it would be to God's Remnant church if we all would strive to be "True" examples of what God values the most as we go about our daily lives, "Seeking first the kingdom of God." Then by the transforming power of our Lord we would be prepared to withstand all the fiery darts of the devil. " John was great in the sight of the Lord. " because his life was totally surrendered to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Let us not become distracted or derailed by the enticements of Satan. Jesus said. " All Power" is given unto me in heaven and on earth". I want my life to totally reflect His Character and Mission and be able to hear those words..."Well Done" at the end of my earthly journey. How about you?
Look up and listen for the shout.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--22--Imprisonment and Death of John
« Reply #38 on: March 20, 2019, 05:16:00 AM »
Trials, however great, need not come between us and Jesus.

Romans 8:28-39 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Though John the Baptist's imprisonment and beheading may have seemed like a great defeat, as he held fast his faith amid the buffeting of trying thoughts and accusing questions and doubts, God's messenger came off victorious. Even death only placed John beyond the power of the devil, sealing his life history as one who was faithful to Jesus. May we find encouragement in John's life and testimony as the trials increase before Jesus comes!

"But the Baptist did not surrender his faith in Christ. The memory of the voice from heaven and the descending dove, the spotless purity of Jesus, the power of the Holy Spirit that had rested upon John as he came into the Saviour's presence, and the testimony of the prophetic scriptures,--all witnessed that Jesus of Nazareth was the Promised One." {The Desire of Ages, page 216, paragraph 3}

Faith is not feeling. We may not feel good in our trials, we may face great struggles. But we can remember the source of our strength is not in self, but in Christ. "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us" (Romans 5:1-5).
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Beacon

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Re: The Desire of Ages--22--Imprisonment and Death of John
« Reply #39 on: March 20, 2019, 05:31:40 AM »
 
"The life of John had been one of active labor, and the gloom and inaction of his prison life weighed heavily upon him. As week after week passed, bringing no change, despondency and doubt crept over him. His disciples did not forsake him. They were allowed access to the prison.  John the Baptist had been first in heralding Christ's kingdom, and he was first also in suffering. From the free air of the wilderness and the vast throngs that had hung upon his words, he was now shut in by the walls of a dungeon cell. He had become a prisoner in the fortress of Herod Antipas. . Herod himself had listened to the preaching of the Baptist. The dissolute king had trembled under the call to repentance. "Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy; . . . and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly."

Have you ever wondered why God seems to not hear your prayers and change your circumstances?? Could it be that by God permitting John to pass through this dark and lonely valley,  it also  gave Herod direct access to hear the voice of God calling him to repentance?  Notice the ending sentence in the above paragraph. When we face adverse situations remember that if God bring you to it, He will see you through it even if it leads to our death.

"John dealt with Herod faithfully, denouncing his iniquitous alliance with Herodias, his brother's wife. For a time Herod feebly sought to break the chain of lust that bound him; but Herodias fastened him the more firmly in her toils, and found revenge upon the Baptist by inducing Herod to cast him into prison.  His disciples brought him tidings of the works of Jesus, and told how the people were flocking to Him.

But they questioned why, if this new teacher was the Messiah, He did nothing to effect John's release. How could He permit His faithful herald to be deprived of liberty and perhaps of life?" These questions were not without effect. Doubts which otherwise would never have arisen were suggested to John. Oh, how often those who think themselves the friends of a good man, and who are eager to show their fidelity to him, prove to be his most dangerous.[/b] ]Satan rejoiced to hear the words of these disciples, and to see how they bruised the soul of the Lord's messenger. How often, instead of strengthening his faith, their words depress and dishearten! fellowship with Christ in His sufferings is the most weighty trust and the highest honor."
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Hopefully these thoughts will help all of us to #1. Trust in God Through All Circumstances. #2. To prayerfully chose our words so that they will be a positive encouragement to those in need as they pass through the crucible of intense suffering both physically and spiritually.   






Look up and listen for the shout.